Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo is the first wife of Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa who was succeeded by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Also known to South Africans as Makhumalo Zuma, Gertrude Sizakele was the first lady when Jacob Zuma was president of South Africa and was referred to as the mother of the nation.
Being the wife of Jacob Zuma is probably one of the most trying positions that Makhumalo holds—seeing that her husband has not only been unfaithful but that he has married several other women after her. However, she has remained the wife of the former president, despite all the challenges her marriage has faced and is focused on running Sizakhele MaKhumalo Zuma Foundation.
Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo Is In Her 80s
Makhumalo Zuma was born on 2nd March 1940. At the time of her birth, the apartheid regime was still in control of the South African nation, and black South Africans like herself did not have access to some basic human rights. However, she attended a local school in Colenso KwaZulu-Natal, and from a very young age, she took up the responsibility of taking care of her three younger siblings.
We do not know who her parents were, but we know that she may not have enjoyed the best childhood due to the ill-treatment prevalent at the time against the black people of South Africa. We also don’t have details about her siblings and educational background.
Makhumalo Zuma Met Jacob Zuma When They Were Teenagers
There are varying dates online as to when Makhumalo and Jacob met. While some sources say they met in 1959, others say they met in 1957. However, what is common with the different sources is that they were both teenagers when they met and started dating.
Makhumalo Zuma was between the ages of 16 to 19, and Jacob Zuma was between the ages of 14 to 17. Although they were blacks and did not enjoy some basic human rights a the time, they had the right to fall in love, and they did that.
From the ages above, you can easily tell that Makhumalo is two years older than Jacob Zuma, even though that did not stop them from being in love and eventually getting married.
Makhumalo Zuma And Jacob Zuma Were Apart For 10 Years
There are reports that Makhumalo and Jacob Zuma did not start dating around the same time they met. This may be a fact, especially if you consider their ages at the time. Sources have it that the two started dating in 1960. At the time, Ma Makhumalo was up to 20 years old, and Jacob Zuma was about 18 years old and was already a member of the ANC.
In 1962, Jacob Zuma joined the Umkhonto we Sizwe, an armed subsidiary of the ANC. The same year he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, ANC was banned, and he and 45 other recruits were arrested. He was sentenced to prison for 10 years as a result.
He served his prison term on Robben Island, and during this time, he wrote to his love Makhumalo, telling her that he won’t mind if she decided to leave him. But she was already committed to their relationship and decided to wait for him until he got out of jail.
Makhumalo Zuma Became Jacob Zuma’s Wife in 1973
After Jacob Zuma served his 10 years jail term, he was released in 1973. Spending 10 years away from each other did not stop them from being in love as the same year Jacob Zuma came out of prison, he got married to Gertrude Sizakele, but once again, their relationship was threatened as Jacob Zuma had to leave the country on exile in 1975.
A year after Jacob Zuma went into exile, he married Kate Mantsho. Although Makhumalo Zuma has not come out to say what she felt like when she heard that her husband, who was in exile, had married a second wife, it was most likely not a piece of pleasant news. However, it didn’t stop her love for her husband.
Does Makhumalo Zuma Have A Child?
The relationship between Jacob Zuma and Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo did not produce any offspring. However, it showed Makhumalo Zuma how much she could love a person. On her 73rd birthday, she revealed that she had had to deal with many things due to her marriage to Jacob Zuma.
While he was in exile, people mocked her and even told her that he won’t come back to her. She even got proposals and advances from men even though they knew she had been married. But, just like she waited for him while in prison, she was determined to wait for him, and her patience was worth it as ANC was unbanned in 1990 and Zuma returned home.
Makhumalo Zuma Was South Africa’s First Lady From 2009 To 2014
Although Jacob Zuma took more wives after his marriage to Makhumalo Zuma, he still recognizes her place in his life. When he became president in 2009, he took her as the first lady. After serving as Jacob Zuma’s first lady for Zuma’s first term – 2009 to 2014 – he replaced her with Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma, his second wife at the time.
Jacob Zuma Got Married To Five Other Women After Makhumalo Zuma
Jacob Zuma has not always been faithful to his marriage with Makhumalo Zuma. Since his marriage to her, he has had five other wives, and besides being married, he has had intimate relationships with other women. In 1976, he married Kate Mansho, who birthed five children before committing suicide in December 2000.
In 1982, he married Nkosazana Dlamini, who had four children with him before they got a divorce in 1998. Jacob Zuma married Nompumelelo Ntuli in 2008. In 2015, she was accused of attempting to kill the former president, but she denied the accusation. They are currently estranged, and she has three children with him.
In 2010, he got married to Thobeka Stacie Mabhija, and they have three children but are currently estranged. Again in 2012, Zuma married Gloria Bongekile Ngema. Three years before their marriage, they welcomed their first child. According to Zulu culture, Makhumalo Zuma will have to approve of all of Jacob Zuma’s decisions to get married to his other wives.
There have not been any reports of her disapproval. In 2017, news about Jacob Zuma’s decision to take a seventh wife was leaked to the media, and at that time, Makhumalo was not aware. An insider revealed that she was hurt to hear about it, but she still accepted her husband’s decision.